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October 13, 2008

What Did Your Parents Teach You About Money?

Dollar_sign_2One consequence of the recent economic situation is the interesting conversations being had about what, how and when to educate your children about money.  Whatever your beliefs about HOW we got in this mess, most people will agree that personal responsibility for one's money is something that is learned early on - very early on.    And, whether you were brought up in a home of modest means or comfortable ease, we all ended up with either a conservative approach to managing our money or a more relaxed, "live for today" motto.

Having 2 teen-agers I can tell you it has been on my mind since they were very little.  Unfortunately, the world they will inherit is a more complicated one than what I had to navigate.  So, sometimes the simplest messages stick.  Advice like "if it looks too good to be true - it probably is".  OR "no one is watching out for your best interests but YOU" will probably serve them well on a number of fronts.  Applying these philosophies consistently is another matter.  Self-discipline is part of this too.  So, it's not just about money. 

Somewhere I heard the adage that a person who has their money in order will also have neatly organized drawers, files,closets etc.  I don't know if that is true in it's entirety but it probably is true in general.  If you think about it, it takes self-discipline to keep both consistently.  Deprivation and self-discipline are not the hallmarks of this generation of parents.  To the contrary, we are the generation of "guilt parenting" and hopefully this little wake up call will give many parents the much needed nudge to    change their messages to their children.


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